4th full length opus from California’s genius multi-instrumentalist Leila Abdul-Rauf. “Phantasiai”, in Hellenistic philosophy, are our impressions, the ways in which the world is represented through our senses, preceding actual thoughts. A this is where music-making lies; in the space between senses and thoughts, having the power to express where words fall short. This new album is comprised of two suites, each containing four movements, composed almost entirely from modulated live trumpet, glockenspiel, and vocal performance, an album which Leila believes to be the coldest and most sinister she’s released under her name to date.
The first suite, “Distortions in Phantasy,” describes a character being seduced and consumed by a powerfully addictive phantasy, one so destructive, the body, mind and spirit are annihilated beyond recognition. As the album moves between tracks I through IV, listeners may experience a gradual sensation of sinking deeper into an abyss.
In the second suite, “The I Emerges,” the character experiences a renewal in which what little is left of the former self is vaporized through a crucible of sorts, then reorganized into a new physical and spiritual existence. The pain of the loss experienced by the former self is gone, but adjusting to the new self is an uncomfortable and disorienting experience, with reality perpetually coming into question.”
Weaving layered textures into drifting cinematic compositions, Leila conjures dream-like ambient hymns while channeling ethereal melancholy. Artwork by Matthew Jaffe, Graphic Design by Heresie Studio.